Official launch of Brisbane Open House
Thank you, Mr Middleton, for your warm welcome this morning.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay respect to their Elders past and present – with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
It is a pleasure to join you all in what, I am informed, was once a bakery serving the finest gourmet cakes in Brisbane.
Yes, like so many of Brisbane’s iconic buildings, The Tivoli has a history which remains largely unknown to many, particularly those who enjoy its current status as a music venue.
Kaye and I are fortunate to reside in one of Brisbane’s most notable landmarks – Fernberg, Government House, in Paddington.
And, while it certainly is our honour to contribute a small chapter to its long history, it is not that wonderful opportunity which excites us most.
In truth, the highlight of living in such a remarkable building is opening its doors in welcome to the wider Queensland community.
Government House is a place of high heritage value for Queenslanders, which is why we are keen to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy it. Last year, as many as 20,000 visitors passed through our doors.
Through our own monthly public tours, visits by community groups and regular open days, we delight in sharing the outstanding design and craftsmanship of Fernberg.
These events continue to grow in popularity – I think we all have an urge to discover what lies beyond the walls of buildings that pique our interest, or aesthetic curiosity.
So does that mean Brisbane Open House is just an event for the nosy and inquisitive?
No – it is a celebration of our city – a unique, original place sitting in an ancient landscape.
Beyond its walls are many stories to tell.
It is also a revelation, particularly for those unaware of the award-winning contributions made by Australian architects and designers throughout the world.
But mostly, this is a community event, free to everyone – a truly warm and welcoming program that offers an insight into the innovative ways our fellow Queenslanders are creating unforgettable spaces in which to live, work and play.
Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly to bring this event back for its ninth year – the board, executive staff and volunteers.
As Patron, I also extend my gratitude to the generous owners and managers of the buildings we will explore this year, and to the fundraising partners and sponsors who help Brisbane Open House grow in strength and popularity each year.
Community spirit is at the very heart of what this event represents, and on behalf of all Queenslanders I thank you for your contributions.
And so it is now, with the greatest of pride and pleasure, that I declare Brisbane Open House 2018 officially open!